How to Create a Habit in 3 Steps

Create a Habit in 3 Simple Steps

We all have times in our lives where we decide we want to change our behavior for the better by creating new habits for ourselves. This could be getting in the habit of eating healthier, exercising more, and drinking more water. Or it could be money related, work related…or umm, maybe blogging regularly?! There are so many areas in our lives that could be improved by creating new habits.

Getting into the habit of doing something is often (almost always!) easier said than done. We seem to acquire bad habits without any effort, but getting into a good habit can be a little more challenging.

It’s helpful to break down the process into steps to make it seem less daunting. After awhile, it will become automatic and we realize we aren’t even having to force ourselves to do it anymore.

I’ve heard it takes 21-30 days to form a habit, so here are three steps to follow to get started, including my personal habits I’d like to start.

  1. Be Specific!

The first step is to decide what you want your new habit to be. Be specific. Don’t use something vague, like “I want to exercise more.” Instead, say something like “I will go to the gym five times per week”.  Making a decision and committing to it is half the battle.

My habit: Exercise at least four times per week (two days yoga class/two days exercise bike at home)

Create a Lasting Habit in 3 Steps

  1. Set an Obvious Reminder to Get it Done

The first few days are the hardest for me. I’m excited, but not used to having to remember to do this new thing. Getting started with the new habit is rough. I need something in my face, telling me to get it DONE!

Maybe it was a long day at work and I just want to relax. Maybe I have errands to run and time gets away from me. This is when it’s important to have a daily reminder. Set an alert on your phone if that’s what works for you. Add it to your planner, calendar, to-do list, whatever.

My reminder: I like to write the goal down on a piece of paper and stick it near my desk. Every time I complete the task, I write down the date.

Create a Habit in 3 Steps

  1. Incorporate it into Your Existing Routine Until It Becomes A Habit

Which brings us to the last step. It takes some time before a new behavior becomes a true habit. Until then, a routine will work to your best advantage. Even before the new behavior becomes automatic, a routine will help you get it done without having to spend a lot of willpower or relying on daily reminders.

I think this is where things tend to go wrong for me. I need to make the habits I already have work in my favor. For example, if you always eat dessert after dinner, switch to a healthy snack instead. If you’re in the habit of enjoying a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, go for a walk before drinking it.

My routine: I usually come home from work and sit down to eat a snack, then before I know it I have run out of time to get in my bike ride or yoga class. I will try changing into my exercise clothes before I sit down so I will have no excuse not to do it! 

How to Create Good Habits in 3 Steps

That’s it! Decide to create the new habit, practice the routine until it’s second nature and you’ll be well on your way to forming a new good habit. I am going to give these steps a try starting this week and hope that it gets me back on track!

I think it’s best to start with one habit at a time so it doesn’t get overwhelming. Once my exercise habit gets underway, I do have a few more that I need to work on so I will list them here in hopes that will hold me to it!

 

Future habits:

If you have a habit in mind, good luck! I’d love to hear any new habits or helpful tips in the comments.

 

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My Favorite Meals to Make Ahead and Take to Work for Lunch

5 Easy Make Ahead Lunches

Summer break is over, and that means I am back to work. (Which I am actually pretty happy about!)

The thing I dread is having to come up with something to bring for lunch every day! I hate buying prepackaged freezer meals or a bunch of processed snack foods. It gets expensive and is really not very good for you.

Last year, I realized that if I start stocking up on leftovers from dinner a couple of weeks before school starts, I can stay ahead of the game and not be trying to scrounge together scraps of food from my cabinets each night.

I have discovered a few favorites that work really well for me. They are easy, make great dinners, and freeze/reheat really well when it comes time for lunch. Each recipe makes plenty, so I can usually get 1-2 dinners and 3-4 lunches.

Soon enough, I have a couple of weeks worth of lunches stocked up and don’t have to put any thought into it for several days!

My top five that I use on repeat are linked below:

stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe

Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese – Baked Bree (This recipe is for stovetop, but she also includes instructions for how to bake it – I always bake it!)

Chicken Enchilada Rice Casserole - all the makings of a chicken enchilada but with rice. It's simply delicious!

Chicken Enchilada Rice Casserole – Jo Cooks (I don’t eat meat, so I leave the chicken out of this one and add in a can of black beans.)

A simple, flavorful no-boil, Mushroom Baked Ziti with Spinach and Ricotta ( or sub tofu ricotta) that can be made in one pan and requires no pre-boiling of pasta. Perfect for weeknight dinners! #noboil, #ziti, #vegan | www.feastingathome.com

No Boil Mushroom Baked Ziti – Feasting at Home

Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich with milk

Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sandwich – Two Peas & Their Pod (For this one, I bring the bread separately and assemble the sandwich at lunch so it doesn’t get soggy.)

One-Pan Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice in a pan

One Pan Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice – The Girl Who Ate Everything (Again, since I don’t eat meat I leave out the chicken and add extra broccoli.)

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Back to School! Fun Activities for the First Week of School

Back to School! Fun Activities for the First Week of School

Back to school time is quickly approaching, and I’ve been searching Pinterest for some fun things to do during the first week of school. The first few days are always a little weird until we get into the routine of a regular schedule. These are some of my favorite activities that I’ve found so far and plan to try when school starts. Some we used last year and will be doing again, some are new ones to try.

Back to School Emoji Activities (Emoji Back to School Activities)

Back to School Emoji Activity – Last year’s class really enjoyed these decoding sheets, and of course emoji-themed things are always a big hit! This would make a nice, quick activity for getting settled first thing in the morning.

Back To School Craft for Kids

Back to School Class Puzzle Mural – I have been wanting to try a class puzzle, and the first week of school would be a great time to do it. The kids would really have time to get creative and it gets some art work on the wall right away.

Back to School ~ FREE ~ Getting to Know You ~ Ice Breaker ~ First Day BINGO

Find a Friend Bingo – Back to School Ice Breaker – I love these! We did something similar last year and every single person participated and interacted with students they had never met.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who’s in Your Circles – Getting to Know You Game – We actually used this one a couple of times throughout the year last year, and the kids really enjoyed it. Those who don’t spell so well yet just drew a picture in the center. A bonus is it gets everybody out of their seats and moving around for a couple of minutes.

Morning Work for the First Weeks of School - activities/worksheets (10 days)

Morning Work for the First Weeks of School – Interest Inventory – I used something like this last year, and it’s a great way to learn some helpful things about each kid right away. They could even share some of their answers with the class and find people who have things in common.

Tinfoil and Pipe Cleaner Challenge that your kids will love!

Pipe Cleaner Challenge – I love this idea, and I think a lot of our kids who love to build would really come up with some cool stuff. This would probably be fun to do at any time during the year, and maybe switch out the materials each time and see what happens!

This DIY back-to-school time capsule is a fun way to preserve first day of school memories. Fun back-to-school activities for kids.

Back to School Time Capsule – I actually tried to do something like this last year, but I could not remember where I put the papers by the end of the year! Putting them in a cute jar and setting it somewhere obvious seems like a much better plan.

 

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August Birthstone – Beautiful Peridot Jewelry Finds on Etsy

With August about to start, I have been eyeing its pretty birthstone – Peridot. It’s just hard not to feel happy when looking at these sunny, apple-green gems. This bright, cheerful gemstone looks great with either silver or gold. Here are a few of my favorite jewelry picks from Etsy featuring this summery stone, known as “the gem of the sun.”

Green Peridot Jewelry Roundup, August Birthstone Jewelry

  1. Peridot Shard Earrings 
  2. August Birthstone Bracelet
  3. Peridot Ring
  4. Raw Peridot Necklace
  5. Rustic Dangle Peridot Earrings
  6. Strawberry Peridot Gold Necklace
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Mini Scrapbook Using Project Life Cards

Here is a quick and cute way to use Project Life cards to make a mini scrapbook.

I love all the pretty Project Life kits that are available and have a hard time resisting when I see them in the craft store, especially if they are on sale. Sadly, I don’t have much patience for making big fancy scrapbooks with lots of photos and journaling.

My favorite way to use up these cute, patterned cards is to make a mini scrapbook bound by a simple metal ring. This one features a few pictures of my cat when she was a kitten, made with 4″x 4″ photo prints ordered from Printiki.

I like this style because I can keep adding to it as I get more pictures. All I did for most of the pictures was to tape them down with washi tape and write the date on the paper or directly on the photo.

I put her name on the cover page with metallic cardboard letters from the dollar section at Target.

Quick and easy mini photo album using Project Life cards

easy scrapbook with project life cards

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Easy Jumbo Felted Wool Ball Cat Toy DIY

DIY Felted Wool Cat Toy

DIY Felted Wool Cat Toy

Here is a tutorial for a homemade cat toy that my cat absolutely loves. It’s simple to make, cheap, and durable (to withstand those vicious attacks!). The idea came from some wool dryer balls that I made a few years ago – once kitty found them….I think it’s needless to say they belong to her now. But I wanted one jumbo one that she could really sink her teeth and claws into, so I made a new one just for her.

All you really need is 100% wool yarn in any color. I used Patons Classic Wool in “New Denim.” I also had some of these lattice-style jingle balls laying around that don’t get a lot of play on their own so I used one as the core, but it’s not necessary.

All you really need to do is start wrapping the yarn around the ball, every which way, until it’s covered. Don’t worry about it being uneven or lumpy, it will smooth out pretty well on its own. Keep wrapping, and wrapping, and wrapping until all the yarn is gone. (Preferably do this while your cat is in a very deep sleep in a far corner of the house, or she will make it a lot more complicated.)

Wool Ball Cat Toy DIY

Tuck the end of the yarn under somewhere to secure it. I wrapped with a couple of rubber bands just to make sure everything would stay tight.

Next, it’s going to go in the washing machine, so stick it inside an old nylon sock or pantyhose. I didn’t have either, so I used my mesh laundry bag and secured the top with a rubber band.

Throw it in the washer with a load of laundry and wash on hot (I put mine in with a load of towels). The hot water, detergent, and friction in the washer will work its magic and felt the ball into one solid piece so it won’t come unraveled.

Remove the rubber bands if you used them, and run the ball through the dryer with the rest of the laundry. It should come out nice fairly smooth and sturdy, but if it seems like it needs more help, run it through the laundry a second time.

That’s it! You can rub a little catnip on it to get your cat’s attention. I like it because it’s big enough to bite and kick at the same time – and my cat loves to kick!

Here are some other items my cat wishes she had, or already has and loves!

cat toys - cat products

*This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase using one of the links, I will receive a small commission. There will be no additional cost to you.
  1. *Mad Scientist Toy for Cats – I think it would be super entertaining to watch my cat figure this one out – anything for a treat!
  2. Our Pets Play-N-Treat Ball – I have these and my cat loves pushing them all over the house with her nose until the treats come out – we use it almost every day.
  3. *SmartCat Peek-a-Prize Toy Box – It’s like a puzzle for cats! I think my cat would love trying to fish all the different toys out of the box.
  4. Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy – I think this will be the next one I get – simple, but entertaining (and it has good reviews).
  5. TRIXIE Pet Products Parla Scratching Post – We have this also and it has been great – it can really take a beating and doesn’t tip over easily (plus the price can’t be beat!)
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Jewelry Display Ideas for Craft Fair Booth

Jewelry Display Ideas for Craft Fairs

*This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase using one of the links, I will receive a small commission. There will be no additional cost to you.

As someone who has been doing the craft fair “thing” for just about ten years now, I have gone through my fair share of different jewelry display ideas. I like to make them myself when I can, but I am not above buying something pre-made if it’s just right.

At each show, I usually keep blank paper handy so I can jot down things I want to change about my booth, sketch ideas for new displays, or note problems that need solving (ex: keeping something from being blown over by wind!). Because of this, I am constantly thinking about ways to improve my set-up and make it a little better each time.

Here are a few ideas I found while browsing Pinterest and would love to incorporate in the future. Some are ready-made and available to purchase, while some include tutorials for DIY.

Make this jewelry display from copper pipes and fittings.

Copper Jewelry Stand Tutorial – eHow

This copper jewelry stand DIY is great, because there is no set amount of jewelry you have to use. Pile it on if you have a lot, or spread it out if you’re running low. It would also be cute to do a couple in different heights for longer/shorter necklaces.

Earring Display Holder – etsy

I love these handmade earring racks that are available in several colors on etsy! They would be perfect if you sell your earrings on cards as shown. It’s always a good idea to have a few displays that are vertical instead of everything being low to the table.

Marble And Gilt Jewelry Stand – Medium | Wisteria - Necklace Stand, Bracelet Stand, Jewelry Display, Organizer #organizer #jewelrystand #display #storage #marble #gold #minimalist #decor #wisteria #afflink

*Gilt Jewelry Stand – Wisteria

This one is beautiful and simple, and available in three different sizes. The minimalist gold look fits right in with the displays I already use and won’t interfere with delicate pieces of jewelry.

Standing Earring Display Tutorial – TheOther128Hours

This tutorial for a standing earring display is perfect because you can customize the size of it and the number of hooks – I think setting up a couple of small ones around the booth would be great. Plus, it looks like it would hold up well on a windy day – one of my main requirements!

MarbleNBrassJewelryHolderROS18

*Brass & Marble Jewelry Holder – CB2

This simple and sleek necklace stand from cb2 would look really nice paired with the other gold-tone one above. It’s subtle enough to go with almost any display style and looks small enough to fit just about anywhere.

This set of three necklace/bracelet stands from Amazon are a really good value and a great way to squeeze in extra inventory without taking up a lot of space. They are on my wish list, and I will probably break down and buy them very soon!
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Best Black Bean BBQ Veggie Burgers!

The other day I wanted to make veggie burgers from scratch. I have made them before, but never found a recipe I really love.

After browsing through about 10 different recipes on Pinterest, I realized I didn’t have all of the ingredients for any of them.

I decided to wing it and I’m glad I did! The recipe below is not an exact science, and I’m sure it would be easy to substitute ingredients as long as the ratio of wet to dry is kept the same.

These ended up being the best Black Bean burgers, topped with BBQ sauce and avocado slices!

Ingredients:

1 can black beans (15 oz.), rinsed and drained

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 c. cooked quinoa

1 c. baked sweet potato

1/2 c. ground oats (dry)

1 egg

1/4 c. breadcrumbs

2-3 tbs. salsa

1 Tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, mash black beans with a fork until just a few beans remain whole.

Add the rest of the ingredients, mixing as you go, until everything is well combined.

Divide into six equal portions and form into a round patties.

To cook, heat a frying pan on medium/low heat with a little but of olive oil. Add patty/patties and cook 4-5 minutes on each side until hot throughout.

Add BBQ sauce to the patty while the second side is cooking and serve on a toasted bun with sliced avocado.

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